Nest Labs halts sales of Nest Protect smoke alarm due to faulty Wave feature


Launched on Nov. 19, 2013, the Nest Protect alarm is the second smart home product of Nest Labs after the Nest Learning Thermostat, that has become very popular and well received by its market. Nest Labs, a Google-owned company, has been known in the industry for its untarnished reputation, until this recent technical glitch. 

Nest Labs has decided to stop selling its Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm after detecting safety issues on the said product, specifically in its Nest Wave feature.

"At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality. During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire. We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately," said CEO Tony Fadell of Nest Labs, a home-automation company now owned by Google after a $3.2 billion purchase on Jan. 13, 2014.

Fadell further said in his letter that the company would no longer sell the product until it has found solution to the issue. He also advised clients to disable the Nest Wave feature at once, as the company believes it's the safest thing to do now to address the concern.

"Once we have a solution that ensures Nest Wave works as intended, we will update our software to turn this feature back on. This will only happen after extensive testing and once we have received approval from safety agencies in the US, Canada and UK. We expect this to take at least two or three months and we'll continue to update you as we have more information," he revealed.

As an analyst at Forrester Research, Frank E. Gillett, said that Nest Labs did the right thing - which is to admit the error and fix it - so as to prevent any fallout or loss of trust from its loyal clients.

"If they identified the problem and immediately jumped on it and took a conservative approach, that is the right thing to do," said Gillett.

Fadell also provided some tips for product owners to avoid unintentional activation of the affected feature.

For those who have the product connected to a Nest Account through Wi-Fi, the faulty Wave feature will be disabled automatically in 24 hours. The smoke alarm will continue as it is, so the client doesn't need to do anything else. However, if the product is not connected to the Nest Account or have been removed offline ever since, the product should be reconnected to the Nest Account so that the company can remotely disable the feature.

Now, for those who have the product that is not connected to a Nest Account and have no access to Wi-Fi, the company advised to stop using the product and a complete refund will be given to the client.

"We're enormously sorry for the inconvenience caused by this issue. The team and I are dedicated to ensuring that we can stand behind each Nest product that comes into your home, and your 100% satisfaction and safety are what motivates us. Please know that the entire Nest team and I are focused on fixing this problem and continuing to improve our current products in every way possible," Fadell said.

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